It would be foolish for Toronto to drain the the tires of its fledgling Bixi program before it really gets going, however. Even if bike sharing has so far failed to live up to the hype of its promoters, the concept remains relatively new and programs are constantly improving. Cities are still testing business models and fleet sizes to figure out the best way to deliver on the promise of a cleaner environment, reduced congestion and more active citizens without soaking taxpayers.
While bike sharing has been around at least since Amsterdam launched a program in 1965, it has exploded in the past five years. With an annual membership or a small daily fee, users can hop on any of the thousands of bikes parked in strategic locations. As long they keep each trip short, usually no more than 30 minutes, no additional fees apply.